Microsoft shuts down LinkedIn in China due to worsening state crackdowns

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Microsoft will shut down its Chinese version of LinkedIn later this year due to the government’s tightening of Internet services.

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The professional-focused social network blamed a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements” in China, which has continued to tighten its censorship of social media.

This comes after reports that China’s internet regulator 30 days warning given to LinkedIn To regulate its content more strictly or face action.


LinkedIn was the last major US social network still operating in China, which banned Twitter and Facebook in 2009.

Mohawk Shroff, LinkedIn’s head of engineering, said the company originally considered submitting to China’s Internet regulations when it first expanded there in 2014.

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But in a blog post on Thursday, he said: “While we have had success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunities, we have not had the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed.

“We are also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.

“Given this, we have decided to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year.”

He said the social network would be replaced by a new Chinese job search site that doesn’t allow users to create or share posts.

China’s ruling Communist Party has made it increasingly difficult for foreign Internet companies to operate there, cutting off Silicon Valley, one of the world’s most lucrative markets.

After ousting Google in 2010, it blocked encrypted messaging app Signal and audio chat room service Clubhouse earlier this year.

Meanwhile, regulators have moved to rein in domestic tech giants such as online marketplace Alibaba and its digital payments spin-off Ant Group, giant social media and gaming conglomerate Tencent, and taxi hailing service Didi Global.

The values ​​of five major Chinese tech firms are estimated to have wiped out around $951 billion (£695 billion), according to Reuters.

In May, LinkedIn and Microsoft’s search engine Bing were the only foreign names to appear in a list of 105 apps designated by Chinese regulators for “inappropriate data collection”.

In June, Microsoft was accused by Western users of censoring famous photos of “Tank Man”, an unidentified Chinese national who blocked the passage of tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, from Bing search results . Microsoft blamed “accidental human error”.

Last month, LinkedIn blocked several US journalists in China, saying they had posted “prohibited content”.


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